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JoCo Hall of Fame inducts four in 2019 class

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WENDELL — On Saturday over 100 individuals got together at Corinth Holders High to celebrate the athletic excellence and legacy of Smithfield-Selma’s Reggie Barnes, Clayton’s Johnny Dutch, South Johnston’s Brian Honeycutt and Meadow High’s Phil Lee as the Johnston County Athletics Hall of Fame held its 13th annual banquet to induct the aforementioned players as the Class of 2019.

Barnes was honored as the SSS basketball star was the first player from the school to play NCAA Division I basketball, at UNC Charlotte after scoring 1,300 career points for the Spartans from 1982-85. Barnes played in 100 games in his four years at Charlotte. Barnes went into the mental health field for a few years before he started three private businesses and a non-profit called Realtime Hope that has provided thousands of dollars in scholarships to Johnston County students.

Dutch is one of the most decorated track and field athletes in North Carolina High School Athletic Association history after winning nine state titles in his time at Clayton from 2004-07. Dutch went on to the University of South Carolina, where he was an All-American eight times and won a national championship in the 400-meter hurdles in 2010 before deciding to turn pro after his junior year.

Dutch was a three-time U.S. Olympic Trials finalist. Bennett Jones, now the Clayton principal who was Dutch’s coach with the Comets, said he’s possibly the greatest athlete to ever come from Johnston County. Dutch received his degree from South Carolina for film production and is currently a filmmaker in California.

Honeycutt, the former South Johnston and University of North Carolina offensive and defensive lineman, was honored third after starting 16 straight games at UNC before a knee injury ended his career. Johnston County Public Schools superintendent Ross Renfrow said that when he started at South Johnston a year after Honeycutt graduated, he remembered Honeycutt coming back and younger kids asking for his autograph because he was one of the first from that area to play in the ACC.

Lee, who passed away in August, played basketball at Meadow School from 1962-66. Lee would play on Campbell’s freshman basketball team before graduating in 1970. Lee began coaching high school girls basketball in Virginia where he won a state championship in 1976 before moving on to NCAA Div. III Christopher Newport for a year. Lee then became Vanderbilt University’s second women’s basketball coach in program history, where he won the Women’s National Invitation Tournament in his second year. Lee would return to Johnston County in 1992 to teach and coach at Meadow School, before becoming principal at Smithfield Elementary, Selma Middle, Smithfield-Selma High and Riverwood Middle. Lee’s widow, Margaret, accepted the honor in his place.